ESOMAR, or the European Society for Opinion and Market Research, is a global association dedicated to making market research ethical and responsible. Members of this organisation are committed to ethical research methods and standards, which enable companies to produce accurate research and analysis. It also acts as a regulator, setting strict guidelines on data protection, which prevents misconduct and ensures that the privacy of research participants is protected.
Based in Europe, with a global reach
The European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research is a global association of nearly 5,000 individual and corporate members from more than 100 countries. Members are committed to the ICC/ESOMAR Code, developed jointly with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The ICC/ESOMAR Code provides a foundation for ethical research and helps make market research an internationally recognisable standard for quality. In addition to the ICC/ESOMAR Code and professional development, ESOMAR has an extensive online educational resource centre.
Why is ESOMAR important for survey takers?
ESOMAR is the most important voice in providing professional guidelines for the market research industry. This is important for respondents taking surveys. Here is an example of the guidelines ESOMAR provides for the industry:
With laws varying from country to country and new possibilities emerging regularly, there should be three over-riding guiding principles for online researchers.
- First, treat the respondent (or the person who is willing to participate in a survey) with respect. Researchers need to create a
relationship with the public based on trust, respect and reciprocity by ensuring that people who participate in an online survey
have a good experience.
- Second, researchers must be sensitive to consumer concerns and remain mindful that market research depends for its success
on public confidence. Researchers should avoid activities and technology practices that could undermine public confidence in the
market research industry.
- Third, researchers must remain diligent in maintaining the distinction between research and commercial activities such as direct
marketing or advertisement targeting. Where researchers are involved with activities which use research techniques such as
interviews but which are not intended solely for research purposes, they must not describe this as market, social or opinion
research. Read more about ESOMAR guidelines (external link).
Have you experienced something worrisome?
The purpose of the ESOMAR guidelines is to protect you as a respondent when taking surveys. Have you seen a practice that is concerning? Whether you are a member of the public, a regulator, or a business partner, ESOMAR is committed to investigating your concerns and resolving the issues. You can raise a concern here (external link).
Established in 1947
The organisation was established in 1947 and now has almost 5,000 individual members and 200 corporate members. Its members are committed to adhering to the ICC/ESOMAR Code, which was created in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce. The ICC/ESOMAR Code sets global guidelines for ethical research. This has helped ESOMAR become a global leader in the industry and is an essential component of professional development.
International standards for market research
The ESOMAR code sets a benchmark for ethical research practices and is the basis for many international standards and regulations. Its 36-point questionnaire aims to help sample buyers assess online sample providers, enabling them to make the best choice. ESOMAR helps ensure that research companies do not misuse or misrepresent respondents, ensuring that participants’ privacy and data are protected. To find out more about this, visit the ESOMAR website. You can easily search for the code through the search box on their website. This will take you to the code’s page.
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1101 AA, Amsterdam
+31 20 664 2141
Survey sites operated by ESOMAR members:
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